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  1. Default 2 guys from england - 1 month on the road NY to LA. A bit of help please?

    hi all,
    i posted sometime back in 2007 details of me and my friends' trip (we're 25 and 28) to the states in june of this year.
    a quick reminder:

    fly out june 14th - 3 days in new york city
    june 17th up to june 24th - driving hire car (chevy equinox) to miami, FL.
    25th up to 27th - amtrak to chicago, IL
    28th up to july 4th - driving hire car (chevy trailblazer) chicago to Las vegas.
    july 7th up to 12th - from las vegas (still in same car) to Los angeles (flying home on the morning of the 12th so hopefully 2 or 3 days in LA beforehand)

    the main cities we're staying at, NY, miami, chicago, vegas, and L.A, we have hotels reserved, all other nights we are hoping to stay at motels. firstly we would like to know how we can find any discount/coupons for motels along the way? prebook, turn up on the day?

    now between NY and Miami, i believe the most direct route is the I-95? the only real stop we want to make on this leg is prob wash, DC. so other than this, we'd appreciate any suggestions, road-wise, that may stand out from the rest, either scenery wise, or full of attractions.

    and then onto Chicago - las vegas. now we have 7 days to make this journey, and although we appreciate we dont have a big amount of time, we'd like to drive as much of the old route66 (i know a lot of it isnt there now)
    but we would love to poss see monument valley and the grand canyon?

    we are viewing this trip as a "road trip" so we know we would have to make progress everyday but would just like to know peoples opinions on driving time and how much to do each day?

    as its getting closer we're getting both excited and a little nervous. just want to make sure everythings covered really. we really cant wait to come over to the states, ive only been to NY before working at a summer camp for 3 months and never got to travel afterwards. when ive posted before you were excellent in replying so would once again appreciate it.

    regards
    neil
    Last edited by Mass Tim; 01-09-2008 at 07:53 AM. Reason: Added link to original thread

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Western/Central Massachusetts
    Posts
    1,703

    Default Resources along the way

    Quote Originally Posted by wells182 View Post
    Firstly we would like to know how we can find any discount/coupons for motels along the way? prebook, turn up on the day?
    You can usually find these coupons in travel centers along the Interstate highways, generally in a stack of booklets that are placed underneath the "you are here" map, many times situated between the men's and women's restrooms.

    You shouldn't have any problem finding a place to stay en route without reservations, though if you happen to be in an area where a big event is taking place, it will be more difficult; the solution here would be to drive a bit more. I always use the Carlisle swap meet in Pennsylvania as an example. When that is going on, you can't find a room within a 100 mile radius of the town easily.


    now between NY and Miami, i believe the most direct route is the I-95? the only real stop we want to make on this leg is prob wash, DC. so other than this, we'd appreciate any suggestions, road-wise, that may stand out from the rest, either scenery wise, or full of attractions.
    That is correct. This is perhaps the most heavily traveled route in the country - you will find the East to be more heavily trafficked than the West with the exception of Los Angeles - there is a book called "Drive I-95" that may benefit you on this route.

    and then onto Chicago - las vegas. now we have 7 days to make this journey, and although we appreciate we dont have a big amount of time, we'd like to drive as much of the old route66 (i know a lot of it isnt there now)
    but we would love to poss see monument valley and the grand canyon?
    Check out our Route 66 links.

    we are viewing this trip as a "road trip" so we know we would have to make progress everyday but would just like to know peoples opinions on driving time and how much to do each day?
    We generally suggest that around 550 miles is a good figure when traveling on the Interstates, or around 10 hours. Depending on the type of roads you are driving and how much stress a day of driving puts on you, that figure can be appreciably lower.

  3. Default

    thanks for the reply.

    can anyone give me some advice on the grand canyon, how do you "visit" it as such. through various visitor centres? or certain viewing points?

    also if im approaching from las vegas, which route would be best to take?

    one other point id like to raise is monument valley, is it a case of just being able to ride through the valley, or is it classed as a national park?

    thanks.

  4. #4

    Default

    We had 2 nights at Grand Canyon on a road trip this year staying at South Rim. 2 nights (1 full day) was plenty if you just want to see the Canyon - we spent the day walking along the rim.

    If you want to go down into the Canyon that needs pretty much a full day. There is a variety of hotels along the Rim but in Summer they are very very busy as is all the Canyon. I was there in October last year and even all accommodation was fully booked.

    I recall it taking 5 or 6 hours Canyon to Las Vegas including a stop at the Hoover Dam for Lunch.

  5. #5

    Default

    Monument Valley is the National Park that never was. It actually belongs to the Navajo Nation but, if it were not on Navajo land, would almost certainly have become a National Park. I kinda like it the way it is :)

    You can read a little information on Monument Valley here

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,318

    Default Enjoy the different lookouts!

    Quote Originally Posted by wells182 View Post
    can anyone give me some advice on the grand canyon, how do you "visit" it as such. through various visitor centres? or certain viewing points?
    Along Hwy 64, there are numerous scenic overlooks to stop at. When I was there, I don't think I missed any of them and I'm glad I didn't. The canyon looks very different from different vantage points and, of course, the light will be changing throughout the day which also changes the appearance of the canyon. It's really quite amazing to observe the differences. And I've never seen a picture that begins to do justice to the real thing.

    One of the viewpoints that is farthest east in the park is The Watchtower. Make sure you go up in it. It's a pretty amazing piece of architecture. You might also enjoy the Tusayin Ruins....if I'm remembering right, they're about mid-point along 64.

    In Grand Canyon Village area, there is a lovely rim walk with very cool hotels, museums, and shops to check out. I'm not so interested shopping itself but the architecture of these buildings was very interesting. Also, in this area, is a nice visitor center.

    We were able to do all of this in one day. I would have loved to have two days but it's do-able in one if you don't linger too long.

    also if im approaching from las vegas, which route would be best to take?
    The typical route is to take 180/64 south from Grand Canyon to Williams, AZ. Then I-40 West to Kingman, AZ. Then 93 North to Hoover Dam. From there, you will continue on 93 until the junction with I-515 which you will take into Vegas. This is about 270 miles and will take you about 5-6 hours to drive, not counting stops.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by wells182 View Post
    also if im approaching from las vegas, which route would be best to take?
    If you're planning to come from Chicago, following the path of Route 66, it would make a lot more sense to visit on your way to Las Vegas, instead of backtracking. The same would also be true about a trip through Monument Valley.

    One thing that hasn't been mentioned yet about visiting the south rim, there is a bus system that runs from the main area of the south rim out to a variety of different overlook points every 15-30 minutes. For much of the area, it is the only way to get to the overlooks, since car traffic has been restricted to avoid congestion.

  8. Default

    ok excellent, thanks guys. very very helpful.

    and i must apologise,

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wells182
    also if im approaching from las vegas, which route would be best to take?

    this was me writing in error. i do plan to visit both monument valley and grand canyon before vegas, dont know what i was thinking at that point. but thankyou judy as ive now got directions to vegas from yourself :)

    as we're spending a LOT of time in a car i also started thinking of a cooler in the car to keep food and drink in and save money. a bit of advice, can i buy a 12v cooler from somewhere like a target store?

    one final thing, id also like to know what anyone can tell me what the differences would be like from driving NY to FL compared to IL to CA??
    like traffic congestion etc.

    thanks!!

  9. #9

    Default

    I usually make do with a $1 polystyrene cooler from Walmart of Winn Dixie and a refill of ice once a day (from any gas station or supermarket)

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default coolers, differences

    I agree that a 12v cooler would probably be unneeded in this case. I've got a small one that I picked up for $20-30 at Target, but I mostly use it to store things like sandwich meat and a couple beverages if I'm going on a short trip. I still use a regular cooler and ice for most of my road food. Like Craig said, you can get a cheap styrofoam one for just a couple of bucks, or for less than $20 you can get a decent sized hard sided plastic cooler that would be a little more durable.


    As far as comparing drives, NY to FL basically is the most congested corridor in the US, particularly for about the northern half of the trip. There is typically quite a bit of traffic and you're never that far from a fairly urban area. IL to CA takes you through the wide open American West. You'll only have to deal with a handful of major cities or traffic across the entire route, and you'll have some significant stretches of wide open road, where you can go 50 miles or more between towns and services.

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